Customers at a Waitrose are causing a storm in a tea cup after its cafe swapped china for PAPER plates and cups.
Dubbed ‘the most middle class row ever’ regulars are threatening a boycott after the posh supermarket’s restaurant started serving food and drinks on disposable crockery.
Angry regulars in Chichester complained after the store stopped using traditional china for tea and cakes – instead opting for plastic and paper.
To make matters worse irked customers are now forced to sit in wooden chairs instead of sofas in the café’s new layout.
The row began when the cafe moved from inside the Waitrose supermarket in the West Sussex city to a premises previously ran by Costa next door.
During the move the supermarket decided not to provide china, or the beloved sofas, from inside the store.
Regulars are outraged but others say the dispute is ”the most middle class row ever”.
One regular female customer said: “If you go into Waitrose you expect to be able to drink a cup of coffee from a real cup.
“You get that in Sainsbury’s in Chichester.
“You see them using paper plates and cups and you wonder what else they’re cutting back on.”
Local Gary Ashcroft added: “Surely it’s better for the environment to reuse china.
A Chichester couple, who said they were regular Waitrose customers, said: “We enjoy coming here.
“We’re not annoyed about using paper plates, but we are a little disappointed that they don’t provide proper cups.”
A café staff member explained that the decision may be overturned in the future, but it would mean a dishwasher would have to be installed.
The worker said: “There were complaints at first but I think people like it now we’ve changed, we’re really busy.
“It’s more hygienic and customers get a much bigger quantity of coffee.
“I think Waitrose are looking to change to china but we have that more in our bigger stores and it would mean getting a dishwasher in.
“People also said the new chairs are cheap but the whole point is they’re easy to clean, the old settees were horrible.
“The plates were polystyrene but are now made of sugar cane so they’re recyclable, the cups I don’t think can be recycled but the plastic tops can be.”
Local Liz Dyson, 46, said she didn’t mind the paper plates and cups, just as long as they were being recycled.
She said: “People who want coffee from china cups would probably go somewhere else, I come here because it’s nice and is really reasonable.
“But if they do recycle maybe they should advertise it better.”
Upset Kathryn Crosby said: I complained because it’s a total unnecessary waste of materials and resources. Not all of which can be recycled.
“More crap in landfill when china could be washed up and re used which is less environmentally damaging.”
A Waitrose spokesman said: “The feedback of our customers is hugely important to us and the comments we have received will help shape any future plan.”